Thursday, December 20, 2012

Forest North: The Movie

On Wednesday, December 19, over 400 Forest North students, staff, parents, and community members gathered to showcase our school's collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication as shown through technology. With only three weeks to prepare, Mrs. Fournier (librarian), Ms. Bell (art teacher), and Ms. Fennewald (instructional technology specialist) created their own song using Audacity. Then, they began to organize permissions, lyrics, themes, ordering, and students through Google Docs. In fact, all communication on the project was done through technology--Google Docs. After viewing a lip dub performance by another elementary school, the teachers decided to take on the challenge of a lip dub. The trio planned out themes for the school while the classroom teachers and staff brought their lessons outside of the classroom to showcase in the video. After four one-take shots of the lip dub, it was complete! Finally, the video was edited using Moving Maker and was uploaded to Youtube.

Librarian, Mrs. Fournier, chose to promote the video through the use of a Smore page. The page was placed on her social media site, blog, eNews, and the school Website.

The final video is part of the Follett Challenge, a challenge that, if won, will earn Forest North $60K in technology and literacy supplies!

Monday, December 10, 2012

LEGO takes Second Grade by Storm

In partnership with National Instruments, Mrs. Rhea's 2nd grade class participated in a LEGO WeDo Education experience. National Instruments loaned the second grade students 13 WeDo building kits and software. 

Students worked in partners to build and program a simple robot. The robot was designed to kick an object in order to tie in with their study of force and motion. The students had to follow multi-step procedural text to build the robot correctly and then, they had to write multi-step procedural text to program the robot to function correctly. This correlated perfectly with the second graders' study of procedural text. 

The students were extremely engaged throughout the building and programming process. They learned a lot about teamwork, following directions and computer programming. Most of all, they had fun!  a great experience and Mrs. Rhea looks forward to repeating it again in the spring with a different LEGO kit focused on building and programming different animals. 

Stay tuned for LEGO updates from Mrs. Rhea's second grade Eagles! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Digital Learning Day and Video Challenge!

Forest North staff and students are pleased to announce Digital Learning Day, a national day of celebration for digital learning taking place on Wednesday, February 6, 2012. Librarian, Kristen Fournier and art teacher, Angie Bell along with ITS, Christy Fennewald are leading the event bringing nearly a dozen technology business men and women to the campus to speak to the elementary students. Leading up to the event K-5 teachers will be gathering superior technology examples from their students to showcase during the entire month of February.

Mrs. Fournier, Ms. Bell, and Ms. Fennewald are also leading Forest North's race to earn more technology and library supplies with a lip dub video featuring the ENTIRE student body and staff. The video will be created in one take on the final day of school before winter break. Each grade level is working diligently to create signs and themes to display their grade's focus on technology and literacy.

We welcome all support in each of these two endeavors to promote technology integration at Forest North. Thank you to the entire staff for a group-wide technology integration effort!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Introducing...Tech Stars!

Currently, third, fourth, and fifth grade students are gathering teacher recommendations, obtaining parent permission, attending information sessions, and applying for Forest North's newest club: Tech Stars. Tech Stars is a club for third, fourth, and fifth grade students who have an interest in technology. Students in the club receive enrichment opportunities (like making movies, photographs, songs, etc.) as well as leadership responsibilities.  Tech Stars are responsible for maintaining the netbooks and other technology at their grade level and setting a positive example for other students. Additionally, tech stars attend bi-monthly meetings to learn new "fix-it" skills, thereby working towards their certification.

Tech Stars starts January 7, 2013. Applications are due December 10, 2012.

The first big event Tech Stars will sponsor is the Digital Learning Day on February 6, 2013--an event that celebrates 21st century teaching and learning.

Please encourage your students to apply for this leadership opportunity!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lunch Counts and ActivSlates

Mrs. Guerra's 1st grade class is ringing in each school day with a dose of Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat and  ActivSlates. As students arrive, they pass along the classroom ActivSlate and drag over their appropriate Dr. Seuss hat to their respective lunch columns. In doing so, students are working on fine motor skills--with the ActivSlate pen--and their graphing skills. One of the 1st grade goals is to get students used to what graphs look like as well as how to chart bar graphs.

With the use of the ActivSlate and ActivInspire software, students are able to achieve both goals: improve fine motor skills and recognize graphs.

Stay tuned for more updates from Mrs. Guerra's 1st grade class ad they familiarize themselves with ActivInspire software!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Edmodo makes waves

Teachers at Forest North have implemented a new form of communication, instruction, and classroom management into the classroom: Edmodo. With Edmodo, teachers create classes that students join. And, each student is given a unique parent code to give to parents/guardians. With this code, parents can sign into the class, view their child's grades, progress, behavioral badges, and view important notes from the teacher. In fact, with a parent Edmodo account, parents can do more than they could with a regular Website. Edmodo is a school safe form of social networking that teaches students correct behavior on social networking sites--in a safe place. It is designed to look like Facebook, but for education. Most students immediately make the connection between Edmodo and other popular public social networking sites. And, because of that connection, teachers are able to teach students how to be constructive members of the social classroom community.

Ask your child's teacher if they use Edmodo in the classroom. And, if they do, be sure to get your parent code so you can sign up.

Stay tuned for more updates on Edmodo's impact on the classroom!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mrs. James' sight words with doc cams and ActivSlates

Using the "Pumpkin Song," Mrs. James' kindergarten students found sight words from the word wall. However, this activity was completed with a twist--the "Pumpkin Song" was shown via a Samsung Document Camera and students found and labeled sight words with the use of a Promethean ActivSlate. To complete the activity, Mrs. James assigned students sight words to label in the poem. Then, students took turns highlighting and underlining sight words with the ActivSlate. Students were also able to develop motor skills as they navigated the pen on the screen.

One-by-one, Mrs. James called upon excited students to sit up front with the ActivSlate.

With their sight word in mind, students erased previous marks and utilized the ActivInspire toolbar to select their correct writing instrument.

Then, students navigated the highlighter or pen tools to find the correct sight word.

And, when students didn't get it the first time, they always tried again.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Digital Art with Mrs. Bell: The aliens have landed!

Mrs. Angie Bell's 4th grade art classes have been creating digital Aliens by using Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.  Students are introduced to digital photography by taking pictures of their classmates and learning photography skills such as focusing and composition.

Each student took 1 to 3 photos of another student and downloaded them on to the student drive. Once the student pulled up their image, they begin working with Photoshop Elements and were introduced to the Magnetic Lasso tool, and Filters such as: Bloat, Pucker and Warp.

Finally, the students were shown how to use color and to change the color of their image. As Mrs. Bell says, "The scary aliens are sure to cause a fright and a few chuckles along the way!"

Creating a new king of Face:

3th grade will also be using Photoshop Elements 8 to create a new kind of face: a Type Face. 

The students will create cartoon faces using only letters, numbers or characters from their keyboards.  They will learn how to copy, paste, rotate, flip a text box, and make new layers.  By using technology skills and creativity, the students will be able to invent a new kind of face: a Type Face.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

ActivSlates and Doc Cams, oh my!

Kindergarten is adding a new level of interaction in Mrs. James' classroom. Using ActivSlates and doc cams, students find rhyming words or letters in their poetry folders and students learn left and right in math.

Mrs. James projects a song or poem up on the screen and the students use the ActiveSlate to underline rhyming words or circle letters they know. When the screen is full, the kids just erase and start over.  They can even change the pen colors themselves too.  The students also practice one to one correspondence in reading when they point to the words with the Stylus and read along with them.

Mrs. James found the left and right activity on Promethean Planet. She taught students left and right by holding the L up with the left hand.  Then, students heard a song play that they followed along with.  After that, there were 2 pages where the students could click and drag pictures to the correct spot depending on if it was supposed to go on the left side or the right side.  The class finished with the left and right hokey pokey.

Stay tuned for more happenings in Mrs. James' Kindergarten class!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Choosing "just the right" book with Prezi

Students in Mr. Martir's fifth grade enjoyed a Prezi session taught by librarian, Kristen Fournier, on finding "just the right book."

Through the use of an interactive Prezi show, Ms. Fournier showed students how to find books in the library.   Ms. Fournier was able to spotlight book spines and labels through the use of the doc cam during her Prezi presentation.

With a modern touch to the library introduction, students were enthused, attentive, and eager to see if they could find "just the right book."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Honing those Writing Skills

Forest North 4th Graders are honing those writing skills.
Students are creating new and exciting content in the areas of Poetry, Letters, and Comic Strips. You'll see that the students are actively engaged, learning and meeting their TEKS for both LA and Technology.
Once I asked a student, "What makes writing this way different than another way?" Student, "Well, it gets my creative juices flowing. Because I'm doing this I have new ideas and am changing my stuff up!"
Technology is making a difference in these students learning process! Check out the pictures below of the students in action.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Campus News Paper Goes Digital

Our student lead campus news paper has gone digital! Students are discovering events, taking pictures and writing articles about them for the campus News Paper! Our students are gaining a lot of real world experiences through this instruction.
Students are honing their academic skills in writing for specific audiences as well as their personal hobby skills such as photography and design layout. Students reproduce this newspaper each grading period with new layout, photos and articles. If you find that the site is down come back soon because it is in the redesign phase.
Check out the publication when you can. You'll see just how awesome our students are!

1st Grade Writing Turned Video

Ms. Ellis' students collaborated to create a video covering the information they learned during a research project.  The students were able to master several TEKS during this project.
They were able to Write Brief Compositions for their speaking parts in the videos. They also gathered evidence from available sources addressing the research question for the video. Both Reading and Writing TEKS were major components to this project.
Due to the success of learning in this project we are already working on more!

Check out our video!